Matt Damon and Keira Knightley

The folks over at Pajiba are reporting that Matt Damon and Keira Knightley have been offered the roles of Dick and Nicole Diver, the glittering couple doomed to a downward spiral in a remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.

The last complete novel written by Fitzgerald was first serialized in Scribner’s magazine in 1934. The story of the Diver’s has parallels to Fitzgerald’s life. Fitzgerald was a writer on the rise, a golden boy who married the golden girl Zelda. She descended into madness, he descended into alcoholism.

Dick Diver is  a psychologist who treats an heiress from Chicago, a young woman who has been sexually abused by her father. No surprise she’s suffered a nervous breakdown. Doctor and patient fall in love, marry and have children. He finds himself living as one of the idle rich on the French Riviera. Their relationship is doctor and patient, husband and wife which of course causes serious complications. When Nicole has another breakdown they invest in a clinic in Switzerland. With the passing years Nicole gets strong as Dick gets weaker, alcoholism taking its toll on him and their marriage which begins to disintegrate.

Both actors are good casting choices for their roles. Knightley is at home in period pieces and would also be able to handle the age range. Nicole is a teenager when Dick meets her and she must age into wife and mother. Damon could handle the role of the hero who becomes increasingly tarnished until he completely falls apart.  He fits the Fitzgerald mold of golden boy who falls to pieces.

There’s no confirmation that either actor has actually accepted the roles offered to them. I’d think they would, if their schedules permit. These are great roles and even though the book was made into a film before, it’s overdo for another interpretation on film.

David Nichols (Starter for 10) has written the script. No indication how closely he’s sticking to the novel.

There’s no director on board yet.  Who can handle the material? Any Fitzgerald fans out there with an opinion of who should direct Tender is the Night? And do you agree with the choice of actors? who would you cast?

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